How to prevent ear infections this summer - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

How to prevent ear infections this summer

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- Most kids look forward to summer months to spend time in the pool, but more time in the pool could result in more ear infections. 

Kids are more prone to ear infections during the summer months when they are excessively exposing their ears to water such as swimming.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, swimmer's ear is a common problem that can cause pain and discomfort for children and swimmers of all ages. In the U.S. alone, swimmer's ear results in an estimated 2.4 million health care visits every year.

"It's hard to keep from getting ear infections in the summer, you do a lot of swimming," said grandmother Jala Erby. 

Erby brings her 2 grand kids to swim lessons at the Jonesboro Pool Center and said they have both had ear infections in the past.

"Not too often but they do occasionally especially this one. I think they go swimming at the lake and kind of tend to get dirty water then," she said.

Erby said her daughter takes certain precautions when taking her grand kids swimming.

"She'll make sure they have that swim ear that they put in their ear or they wash out their ear with alcohol," she said.

With ear infections, Dr. Shane Speights with St. Bernards says it's all about location, location, location.

"Is it on one side of the eardrum or is it on the inside of the eardrum," Speights said. "Anywhere where they may be getting their head under water and exposing the inner ear to infection."

He said swimmer's ear is more common in children during the summer months when kids are more active in water.

"There's going to be pain to the ear, certainly whenever we tug on the ear and pull on the ear the child will be complaining and sharp pain," Spights said. 

But not to worry, he said parents can easily make their own home remedy.  

"If you just get a bottle and put half vinegar and half alcohol and after your children have been swimming whether it be a pool or a pond or anything, if you put a few drops in each ear," he said.

Speights said if parents take good preventive measures they can significantly reduce the risk of swimmer's ear.

He said parents can also protect their kids from swimmer's ear by keeping their ears clean and dry and by using earplugs.

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